As Florida Cup organisers desperately scrambled to fill the voids left by Arsenal and Inter Milan’s withdrawals from the tournament,
Everton travelled across the Atlantic undeterred to face Colombian side Millonarios in what would ultimately become the Championship Match.
Benitez’s side would fall behind through Andres Llinas’s opener in the 19th minute, but new arrival Demarai Gray would mark his arrival with the equaliser from 12 yards in the second half, and the two outfits would ultimately be forced to do it the hard way from the penalty spot.
After 19 penalties had been converted during a gruelling shootout, another new Toffee in Asmir Begovic would proceed to save from Juan Esteban Moreno having made the net ripple with his own effort, and Everton would proceed to lift the trophy at the Camping World Stadium.
While the imminent encounter with Pumas is part of the summer tournament, this will be nothing more than an exhibition match for Everton with the trophy already in the bag for the journey home,
but keeping their 100% pre-season record intact is enough of an incentive to get the job done on Wednesday.
The Toffees overcame Accrington Stanley and Blackburn Rovers back home before boarding the plane to the States, and the pick of the bunch awaits for Benitez on August 7, as Everton round off their preparations at Old Trafford against Manchester United.
Meanwhile, Pumas head to Orlando having just kicked off their 2021-22 Liga MX campaign against Atlas, but it was not a tie for the ages as the two clubs played out a 0-0 draw on the opening weekend.
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The seven-time domestic champions could only muster a 15th-placed finish in the Torneo Guardianes 2021, but they have not been goal-shy in pre-season, notching up nine goals across their three pre-season games with Atletico Morelia, San Antonio and Queretaro.
Andres Lillini’s side will not be competing for anything other than pride against the 2021 Florida Cup champions, but a positive performance will do them the world of good before they resume league action against Monterrey at the weekend